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Ok, let’s kick this new year and new blog off with Neil Gaimans Neverwhere.
I first started this book ages ago, by listening to an audio book version that was read by Mr. Gaiman himself. However, I only ever managed to get a third of the way through. So I restarted reading this story from the very beginning. The version I have, is an e-book version and is ‘The Author’s Preferred Text’. I’m not sure if this version differs much from any others but I thought it important to point out. Also, I never knew this book was based on the story of a T.V. series he wrote for the BBC, and I now want to get my hands on it somehow. Although I will try not to include any spoilers, I will warn readers that there might be the odd spoiler here or there.
London Above, London Below, rats, rat-speakers, doors; the world building in this is phenomenal. It’s very immersive and captivating. You are fully pulled into the city of London and then dragged down into the Underside. The contrast between the two is apparent. London Above is the London that we would be accustomed to. It’s described as a sort of dull, dreary, almost lifeless place. Whereas the Underside or, London Below, seems to be a more vibrant and colourful place even though it’s based in underground railway systems, sewers and other strange places. There seems to be more life in London Below.
There is a good few chatacters in this story but not too many that you’d get confused or overwhelmed with. I thought that Mr. Vandemar and Mr. Croup were described very well. They sound like a right slimey amd nasty pair, that you wouldn’t want to run into in the dark of night. I also liked the Old Bailey. That even though his character is associated with the London Below, he prefers to be up on the roofs.
I’m so glad with Richards redemption arc. I was really worried it was just going to end with him as back in London Above, back to the exact same life as before he met Door. Thankfully it didn’t end there.
I do feel that Richard’s character was lacking in places. I just wanted a bit more of him, or for him to be more prominent in some scenes. Also I realy wished that Door’s powers with doors (haha, Door’s doors,) was explored more. What’s it’s limits? Why does she have them? Is it hereditary? Do other families have these or similar powers? I want to know more. Give me all the magical systems!
I really like this story, the characters are good, the world building is amazing and the magic is really interesting. It is definitely encouraging me to go read some more by Gaiman. Now I just have to decide which one to read next.